Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Child and Youth Services’ Youth Sports and Fitness program has continued to find ways to keep youth active during the COVID-19 pandemic with two clinics meeting twice a week for the past three weeks at Harrold Youth Center.


“So many youth sports are canceled, it is just about finding a way to get kids out to still be active,” said Jason Fullen, YSF assistant director.


The first clinic — Winter Fun and Fitness for children between 5-8 years old — was led by Mallory Barnhouse, YSF fitness specialist.


Winter Fun and Fitness featured warmup drills such as jogging, high knees and jumping hurdles as well as several activities from previous clinics and camps including fitness bingo and obstacle courses.


“(The clinic) has gone pretty well,” Barnhouse said. “I’ve been really impressed with all the kids.”


Lindsey Lingenfelter, whose 6-year-old daughter Helena has been participating in the camp, said she was thrilled when she found out about the clinics.


“It’s just good for overall health,” Lingenfelter said. “It’s really good for my kids to stay active so that they can focus better in school, and we’re just overall happier when we’re active.”


Lingenfelter’s sons, 8-year-old Sawyer, 10-year-old Rhett and 12-year-old Samson, have been participating in the second clinic, Pre-Season Conditioning for children between 9-14 years old, led by Fullen.


“(The conditioning clinic) is just geared toward getting them in shape and ready for basketball season, so we’re doing a lot of running and some speed and agility stuff,” Fullen said. “We’re also doing some reaction exercises and strengthening of their legs, a lot of jumping and plyometrics.


“A lot of the kids we’re familiar with because they’ve done our previous camps, so it’s good to see the progression of them throughout,” he said. “There’s been a lot of improvement on their speed and quickness.”


Samson Lingenfelter said he’s been enjoying the clinic.


“I really like how I’m getting more fit. I’m glad they’re doing it, too, because with COVID-19, it’s really hard to find outdoor or indoor activities that strengthen you,” he said. “Our family has a history of diabetes and heart disease, so I think fitness is really important so none of our family gets that.”


He said he likes that the clinic teaches skills needed for basketball.


“I like the team aspect of (basketball),” he said. “It’s an interesting game because, unlike football where you just move by running, in basketball you have to do certain things to move. With football, you just have to get the ball to a certain place, but with basketball you have to get in a good position to shoot to get a point or two.”


The next CYS YSF Basketball Skills Clinics are Jan. 11-28 and Feb. 1-18. Children ages 5-8 meet at 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and children ages 9-14 meet at 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at HYC.


The Start Smart Basketball program, for children ages 3-4, is at 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays Jan. 12-21 at HYC.


For more information or to enroll, call 684-7525/7526.

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